God and the Multiverse November 18, 2012. A Universe Finely Tuned for Life
IntroductionSessions • Nov 4: Introduction. A Universe with a Beginning • Nov 11: A Multiverse with a Beginning • Nov 18: A Universe Finely Tuned for Life • Nov 25: An Orderly, Rational, Comprehensible, Beautiful Universe. Conclusions. PowerPointsavailable on-line at: www.stjohnadulted.org/multiverse-home.htm
Primary References3. A Universe Finely Tuned For Life • Stephen M Barr, Modern Physics and Ancient Faith. University of Notre Dame Press, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0268021986. • Robert J Spitzer, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0802863836 • Paul Davies, The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? Mariner Books, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0547053585. • Louis J Pojman, Philosophy of Religion, McGraw-Hill, 2001. ISBN-13: 978-0767408196.
Almighty and everlasting God, you made the universe with all its marvelous order, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and the infinite complexity of living creatures: Grant that, as we probe the mysteries of your creation, we may come to know you more truly, and more surely fulfill our role in your eternal purpose; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Book of Common Prayer, page 827. For Knowledge of God’s Creation
IntroductionGoals • To show how discoveries in modern astronomy and cosmology are: • compatible with a belief in a creator God, • can be most rationally explained by a creator God who deliberately created a universe — or multiverse — that would be fruitful of life.
IntroductionWeek 1: A Universe with a Beginning • Observational cosmology has firmly established, from multiple lines of evidence, that our universe began 13.7 billion year ago in an event called “The Big Bang.” • The past is finite; there is a past limit to physical reality
IntroductionWeek 1: A Universe with a Beginning • Cosmology’s discovery that the universe had a beginning empowers the traditional Cosmological Argument for the existence of God (The “second way” of St. Thomas Aquinas, 1224-1274, based on the idea of causation): • 1. Everything we see in this world is caused. • 2. Nothing can be the cause of itself. • 3. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes – because the universe has a beginning. The past is finite. Therefore: • 4. There must exist an uncaused first cause not of this world • 5. The word God means “uncaused first cause not of this world”. • 6. Therefore, God exists. St. Thomas Aquinas
IntroductionWeek 2: A Multiverse with a Beginning • There is not a shred of observational evidence for any physical reality beyond the universe we see, the universe that began with the Big Bang. • There are however some physical theories that allow for (although do not require) “other” universes or “alternative” universes, not directly observable from our own – other universes: • that could have given rise to our own universe, • whose existence would mean “the Big Bang” was not truly the beginning of all of physical reality.
IntroductionWeek 2: A Multiverse with a Beginning Our observable Universe + these unobservable “other” or “alternative universes” = The “Multiverse”
IntroductionWeek 2: A Multiverse with a Beginning • We considered all the serious Multiverse scenarios: • Level I Multiverse = “Quilted” Multiverse • Bouncing Multiverse • The Eternal or Chaotic Inflation Multiverse • The String / M-Theory Landscape Multiverse • Braneworld Cyclic Multiverse = EkpyroticMultiverse • We found all these multiverses require a beginning because of considerations of thermodynamics (the buildup of entropy) and /or the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem. • There is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine – including the giant “machine” we call the “universe” or “multiverse. • This requirement for a beginning means a Multiverse also empowers the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God.
IntroductionThis Week: A Universe Finely Tuned for Life • Goals this week: • Look at the “Teleological Argument” for the existence of God, and learn how results from modern cosmology empower this traditional argument for the God’s existence. • In particular we will explore how various parameters in the laws of physics seemed incredibly “fine tuned” or “adjusted” to give rise to a universe that would be fruitful of life. • We will then look at the explanations for this apparent “fine-tuning,” and using “Ockham’s razor,” suggest the most rational, most satisfying explanation is the existence of an unimaginably powerful and intelligent designer, consistent with God.
Teleological ArgumentDesigned for a Purpose • The Teleological Argument for the existence of God starts with the premises that the world exhibits: • (1) design, order, and • (2) intention, purpose. • That is: the world looks like it was deliberately designed for a purpose. • “Teleology” dictionary definition: purposeful development towards a final end (from the Greek telos = end, result)
Teleological ArgumentPsalm 19 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19: 1-4 NIV)
Teleological ArgumentWilliam Paley, Natural Theology • William Paley (1743-1805) gave the clearest sustained treatment of the Teleological Argument in his Natural Theology: Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity Collected from the Appearances of Nature (1802): • “In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there: I might possibly answer … it had lain there for ever …. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, … I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given … For … when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive (what we could not discover in the stone) that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose ... This mechanism being observed, the inference is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker. ...” • “Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature …” William Paley (1743-1805)
Teleological ArgumentWilliam Paley, Natural Theology • 1. Human artifacts (the watch) are products of intelligent design. (Purpose) • 2. The universe resembles these human artifacts. • 3. Therefore: the universe is (probably) a product of intelligent design. (Purpose) • 4. But the universe is vastly more complex and gigantic than a human artifact. • 5. Therefore: there probably is a powerful and vastly intelligent designer who designed the universe.
Teleological ArgumentTeleology in Function versus Structure • Two aspects of purposeful design (= teleology) displayed by the watch: • Orderliness and regularity in function. • Intricacy and complexity in structure.
Teleological ArgumentTeleology in Function versus Structure • In physics, we deal with some of the most fundamental, simplest entities in nature. • For example, the “fundamental particles” = elementary particles in physics have (quite literally) zero size: they appear to behave as perfect geometric points. They have no“structure.” • However elementary particles do display a perfect orderliness and regularity and symmetry in function – so perfect that we say they obey fundamental “laws” of physics from which they never deviate (specs + / - 0.000000 ….. 0000%!) The Elementary Particles
Teleological ArgumentTeleology in Function versus Structure • On the other extreme, biological systems display both: • Orderliness and regularity in function (within certain finite specs) • Intricacy and complexity in structure. They are in fact the most complex, intricate structures we know of in the universe.
Teleological ArgumentA Designer’s Modus Operandi • How might a designer work? • Directly: a designer who: • personally designs and constructs all the many parts in a watch and, • Personally fits those parts together to make a working watch. • Indirectly: a designer who: • personally designs and constructs elementary parts in a watch and • programs those parts so they can: • independently fit themselves together to make a watch, or many different watches; • can self-replicate to make copies or variations of themselves. Victor Brindatch – Watchmaker
Teleological ArgumentA Designer’s Modus Operandi • The designer of the cosmos has clearly worked largely indirectly, making it more difficult to find unambiguous “evidence” for purposeful designin large and complex structures, • most especially in the most complex structures of all, biological systems, with: • Intricate, well-developed methods of self-repair, of reproduction, and • an ability to change and evolve in reaction to stressors (“selectors”) in the environment, via a feedback loop called “natural selection.” The Evolution of Horses. Figure from Campbell Biology 9th Ed, Reece et al, Benjamin Cummings, p. 531.
Teleological ArgumentPurposeful Design in Biology Systems • Because of this independence in biological systems, their ability to reproduce and evolve, efforts to “prove” intelligent design in biological systems is: • problematic, • only suggestive at best, • misguided when it attempts to “prove” the feedback loop of “natural selection” is an inadequate engine for evolution. • However, the feedback loop of “natural selection” as an engine for evolution certainly does not rule out a designer who: • desires to work indirectly, • desires to give biological systems a degree of independence to “make themselves.” • That is: it cannot prove the watchmaker is “blind;” it cannot prove the universe is “without design.”
Teleological ArgumentPurposeful Design in Biology Systems • Please see the series “God after Darwin” and its references for further information. PowerPoints for God After Darwin at: http://www.stjohnadulted.org/god-darwin.htm
Teleological ArgumentPurposeful Design in the Cosmos • Our goal today is much simpler. • We will ask if there is evidence for purposeful design in the fundamental “laws” of physics, the laws which govern – which precisely prescribe – the behavior of the most fundamental, the most elementary entities in nature. • We now know the universe began as an unimaginably hot cauldron of nothing but these elementary entities, these elementary particles. • Yet, this hot brew evolved, grew, matured into a diverse universe fruitful of life and consciousness, • Somehow the potentiality for this universe of life and consciousness was built into, was latent in that unimaginably hot brew of elementary particles, particles whose behavior is prescribed by the fundamental law of physics. The Elementary Particles
Anthropic CoincidencesA “Goldilocks” Universe • Anthropic Coincidences= many features of the laws of physics seem to coincide exactly with what is required for the emergence of life. • As we have learned more about how the laws of physics determines the conditions and structures in the universe, the presence of these “anthropic coincidences,” the degree of apparent “fine-tuning” in the laws of physics to produce conditions and structures necessary for life has become so obvious, so egregious that many cosmologist now consider it a scientific problem in need of a solution. • We seem to live in a “Goldilocks” universe, in which the law of physics seem to be “just right” for life. • We will look at 3 examples to get a “favor” of these anthropic coincidences. (for others, see Chapter 15 in Barr, Chapter 7 in Davies references)
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 1: Strength of the Strong Force • As of 2012, there are five basic “forces” in nature, each force with its own set of “force-carrying” boson elementary particle(s).
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 1: Strength of the Strong Force Protons, neutrons: composite particles composed of 3 quarks • The Strong Nuclear Force is the force that confines three elementary particles called quarks to form the composite particles called protons and neutrons. • It is also the force that binds these composite particles, the protons and neutrons, together to form the nucleus of an atom.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 1: Strength of the Strong Force • The number of protons in a nucleus defines the identity of the element. Nitrogen (7) Oxygen (8) Sodium (11) Magnesium (12) Phosphorus (15) Chlorine (17) Potassium (19) Calcium (20) Iodine (53)
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 1: Strength of the Strong Force • Only the lightest elements were made in the “fires” of the Big Bang: • Hydrogen (1) • Helium (2) • Lithium (3) • All the heavier elements are “cooked” in the interior of stars and in the “fires” of supernova explosions, “fusing” lighter elements (= small number of protons) into heavier elements (= larger number of protons). • Many “heavier” elements are necessary for life: • Carbon (6 protons) • Nitrogen (7 protons) • Oxygen(8 protons) • Sodium (11 protons) • Potassium (19 protons) • Calcium (20 protons)
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 1: Strength of the Strong Force • The cooking of the heavier elements in the interior of stars, “fusing” lighter elements (= small number of protons) into heavier elements (= larger number of protons), is what allows a star to “burn,” producing light and heat for billions of years – because the fusing of elements lighter than iron into heavier elements releases energy.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 1: Strength of the Strong Force • If the Strong Nuclear Force were 10% weaker than it actually is, then the Strong Nuclear Force would not be strong enough to hold protons together. The universe would consist only of hydrogen (one proton). • If the Strong Nuclear Force were 4% stronger than it actually is, then small stars like the Sun: • instead of burning slowly over billions of years fusing lighter elements into heaver elements, • would instead be able to fuse all their lighter elements into heavier elements in a mere few million years. • There would never be enough time for planets to form or life to evolve.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 2: The Triple Alpha Process • During the “fires” of the Big Bang: • lots of hydrogen (1 proton, 0 or 1 neutrons) • gets fused into: • helium (2 protons, 1 or 2 neutrons) • especiallyhelium-4 (2 protons, 2 neutrons) • Helium-4 is a very, very stable nucleus, and has another name: alpha particle.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 2: The Triple Alpha Process • Once you have carbon-12 (6 protons, 6 neutrons), it is “clear sailing” to build up heavier elements by successively fusing helium-4 nuclei (= alpha particles). • But there is a big problem getting to carbon-12 from helium-4.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 2: The Triple Alpha Process • You might think you could just: • (1) fuse two Helium-4 nuclei to form Beryllium-8, then • (2) fuse another Helium-4 nuclei to the Beryllium-8 nucleus to form Carbon-12. 1. 2.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 2: The Triple Alpha Process X • But helium-4 is so stable that two of them will not stick together to form beryllium-8. 1. 2.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 2: The Triple Alpha Process • There seemed to be no reasonable way to form carbon-12– the atom that is basis for organic chemistry and the processes of life!
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 2: The Triple Alpha Process • This was the problem that Fred Hoyle was working on in 1957. • We met Fred Hoyle in Session 1: • Fred Hoyle was the atheist who derisively coined the term “Big Bang” because the idea smacked of religion. • In 1948 he, along with Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold had proposed the Steady State Theory to avoid a “Big Bang”: • the universe had existed for an infinite time and had always been expanding just as we now see it. • a “creation field” pervaded the universe, a field in which matter was being continuously created to make up for the thinning out due to the cosmic expansion. Fred Hoyle, 1915-2001
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 2: The Triple Alpha Process • Hoyle was investigating the possibility that maybe you could get threehelium-4 nuclei (= alpha particles) to come together simultaneously to make carbon-12 (the “Triple Alpha” process)
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 2: The Triple Alpha Process • Hoyle calculated that if the carbon-12 nucleus just happened to have a particular natural vibrational frequency with energy of 7.7 MeV, that would – through resonance – enhance the likelihood of the triple alpha process enough to make it possible to get the amount of carbon-12 we see in the universe. • In response to Hoyle’s prediction, experimental nuclear physicists measured the vibrational energy levels of the carbon-12 nucleus and found it indeed had a level that was “just right:” 7.7 MeV. The research team headed by Fred Hoyle at Cambridge University working on nucleosynthesis
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 2: The Triple Alpha Process • Hoyle was so deeply struck by this apparent “fine-tuning” in the vibrational energy level in carbon-12 that he “lost his atheism.” He later wrote: • ‘Would you not say to yourself, “Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”’ Fred Hoyle, 1915-2001
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 3: The Stability of the Proton • Not all subatomic particles are stable; many of them “decay” or disintegrate after a while into other types of particles. • The “half-life” tells how long a particle will live before it decays. • Neutronshave a half-life of about ten minutes. • they usually disintegrate into a proton, an electron, and an anti-neutrino. • Protonshowever are stable particles and do not decay. • This simple fact has profound significance, for the nucleus of ordinary hydrogen (hydrogen 1) consists of one proton • If protons did decay, then: • there would be no ordinary hydrogen in the world. • Without hydrogen, there would be no water, no organic molecules, no hydrogen-burning stars like the Sun — in short no possibility of life as we know it.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 3: The Stability of the Proton • Why is the proton stable and the neutron unstable? • The key is that the neutron is a tiny bit heavier than the proton: • neutronmass: 939.565 MeV • proton mass: 938.272 MeV • A heavier particle can decay into a lighter particle, but not the other way around. • By E=mc2, a “heavier” particle has more mass-energy than a lighter particle, and so can “decay” into a lighter particle with a release of energy.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 3: The Stability of the Proton • Why is the neutron slightly heavier than the proton? • Because: • the proton consists of two up quarks and one down quark • The neutron consists of one up quark and two down quarks. • up quarks are lighter than down quarks. • No one knows why the up quark is lighter than the down quark. And you might expect it to be otherwise.
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 3: The Stability of the Proton • In the second and third families of quarks, the quark with charge +2/3 weighs more than the quark with charge -1/3. • But in the first family of quarks (the up and down family), it is the opposite, the up quark (charge +2/3) is lighter than the down quark (charge -1/3). Charge +2/3 Charge -1/3
Anthropic CoincidencesExample 3: The Stability of the Proton The Three Quark Families Heavier quark in each family in red. Lighter quark in each family in green.
ExplanationsA “Goldilocks” Universe • There are two primary options to explain why we seem to live in a “Goldilocks” universe, a universe in which the laws of physics seem to be “just right” for life: • 1. the laws of physics are “just right” by pure chance. • 2. some “super-calculating intellect” has monkeyed with the law of physics, fine-tuned them, so they produce a universe fruitful of life.